Tuesday, October 20, 2020

'I say bring back the Weak Female Character'

Keighley News takes us on a trip down memory lane to see Top Withins.
In another trip down memory lane, we look at Haworth Moor and Top Withens – said to have been the inspiration for the location of the Earnshaw family house Wuthering Heights in the 1847 novel of the same name written by Emily Bronte, who lived in nearby Haworth at what is now the world-renowned Bronte Parsonage Museum.
In 1964, stonemasons Aspinall and Hanson accepted an order from the Brontë Society for a stone plaque to be carved and fixed in a wall of the ruined farmhouse, Top Withens.
The tough job included having to carry the heavy stone half a mile, after a tractor became bogged down on the rough hillside. (Alistair Shand)
There's also a slideshow of the process.

BBC History Revealed lists seven eminent Victorians such as
Emily Brontë, 1818–48
One of the talented Brontë siblings, Emily lived most of her life on the remote Yorkshire Moors with her family. Her only published novel – 
the dark and tragic Wuthering Heights – is considered a classic of English literature. Along with sisters Charlotte and Anne, Emily 
was first published under a pseudonym in a book of poems. She died in 1848 of tuberculosis, less than three months after her brother Branwell. (Emma Slattery Williams)
Stylist lists the 'Best ever period dramas streaming now, for anyone in need of some cosy viewing' including
While bookworms are incredibly familiar with the Brontë sisters’ literary exploits, many of us are less aware of the hardships they faced in order to become published authors. This series, which originally aired on BBC One, is here to change this.
The story revolves around Charlottë [sic] (Finn Atkins), Anne (Charlie Murphy), and Emily (Chloe Pirrie)’s increasingly difficult and toxic relationship with their brother, who in the last three years of his life – following a tragically misguided love affair – sank into alcoholism, drug addiction and abhorrent behaviour.
With their father focusing all of his attention on their brother (who, as the male heir, was seen as “the big hope for the family”), the tenacious trio decided to throw themselves into their writing – and began publishing novels under pseudonyms.
In fact, the show’s title, To Walk Invisible, is a quote taken from a letter penned by the real-life Charlottë, following a meeting with a clergyman. Despite being a big fan of her work, he failed to recognise that she was the author, due to her pseudonym ‘Currer Bell’.
Writing to her publisher about the encounter, Charlottë said: “What author would be without the advantage of being able to walk invisible? One is thereby enabled to keep such a quiet mind.” (Kayleigh Dray)
 News Australia reviews Netflix's new Rebecca:
Hammer is miscast for the role, bringing to it a more serious countenance than Olivier’s charismatic Maxim and closer to Jane Eyre’s Mr Rochester. It’s easy to forget the seductive, sexual charmer of those Monte Carlo scenes. (Wenlei Ma)
And The Telegraph uses the film to make the point that some stories simply can't be retold from a feminist perspective. And there's no need to, either.
If you watch the director of any recent period drama being interviewed, the chances are that someone will look down the camera, take a pause and then say: “When you really think about it, this is a truly feminist story” – and then they’ll go on to describe how they wanted to “bring that out”. 
And in some cases, it’s true. Vanity Fair is a feminist story. Jane Eyre is a feminist story. I could even see a case for arguing that Pride and Prejudice, which let’s face it, doesn’t pass the Bechdel Test, is feminist. To upholster these classics for modern audiences and our modern values therefore adds an edge that is at once interesting, relevant and compelling.
But there are also plenty of books and films that aren’t feminist and really shouldn’t be, no matter how woke the remake. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, for instance, is a story of woman who is punished for her entire life because she once enjoyed sex with someone she really fancied. It’s a cruel story which treats Tess as a punching bag, and there’s absolutely no way to retell it in a feminist light. If you wanted to do so, you’d have to completely rewrite the story to make it Tess of the Respectable Single Parenthood.
Wuthering Heights is similar. There’s no empowering way to tell the story of someone who gets so upset about a break up that she goes out in her nightie and dies. Latter day adaptations have made much of ‘fiery’ Cathy, seemingly untroubled by the idea that someone so ‘spirited’ could then collapse at the first sign of heartbreak. [...]
I am a fully paid up, T-shirt wearing feminist. But just as your average churchgoer doesn’t want to see all their favourite films remade with characters acting more in accordance with the Ten Commandments, I just can’t get on board with modern expectations for ‘strong’ women being retrospectively applied to make existing stories more palatable at the expense of their storyline.
There’s something rather patronising about the idea that we must be surrounded by these ‘inspirational’ women, lest we watch a spineless heroine and start mimicking her behaviour. Even if such decisions are taken under the guise of being ‘inspirational’, why is it that only women who apparently require ‘inspiration’ from their fiction, where men are allowed to merely be entertained?  
There are plenty of weak women (and weak people) in the world. Suggesting that all women have to be strong and empowered is no more forward-thinking than suggesting that we all have to be docile and meek. It would be more genuinely feminist to allow the reality that female characters are often deeply flawed, and that a weak female character has just as much right to exist on screen as the strong ones.
The second Mrs de Winter can be just as compelling to watch as Elizabeth Bennett or Katniss Everdeen. I say bring back the Weak Female Character. (Rebecca Reid)
We couldn't agree more.

Vanity Fair tries to look into what may have inspired Daphne Du Maurier to write Rebecca,
Especially in America, the book was (and often still is) considered to be a crude knock-off of Jane Eyre, and du Maurier an opportunistic appropriator of “real” literature—swapping her unnamed narrator in for humble Jane and the seductive Rebecca for Mr. Rochester’s attic-imprisoned first wife, Bertha Mason. The three du Maurier sisters so obviously idolized the Brontës—Daphne named them often when interviewers asked about her favorite authors—that some critics thought she’d stoop as low as plagiarism. The accusations followed du Maurier her whole life and beyond; in her 1992 essay collection, Expletives Deleted, writer Angela Carter declared that Rebecca had “shamelessly reduplicated the plot” of Jane Eyre.
The Brontës weren’t around to sue, but contemporary novelists who also saw similarities between their work and Rebecca were. (Rosemary Counter)
The Hollywood Reporter reviews the film The Sounding.
The Sounding might have worked better as a theater piece — which is how it began — than as a film, where its excessive quirkiness feels all the more glaring. The story begins on a remote island (actually Monhegan Island in Maine, which would serve as a perfect location for a remake of Wuthering Heights), where Liv (Eaton) lives with her elderly grandfather Lionel (stage and screen veteran Harris Yulin, who has lost none of his commanding presence). Liv never utters a word, although there is nothing physically wrong with her and she seems perfectly content. One of her favorite activities is listening to her grandfather read aloud to her at night, usually from the works of Shakespeare. (Frank Scheck)
Nocturno (Italy) reviews The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Se Emily Bronte e Rosamund Pilcher fossero state compagne di banco nello stesso secolo e avessero ricevuto la commissione di scrivere a quattro mani una sceneggiatura per il piccolo schermo avrebbero dato vita a The Haunting of Bly Manor. (Alessandra Coiro) (Translation)
What'sOnStage brings good news about the National Theatre production of Jane Eyre by Sally Cookson.
Sky Arts and National Theatre Live have revealed a new partnership deal.
Over the next three years, Sky Arts will continue to be the headline sponsor for all NT Live shows, while providing exclusive content and screening opportunities for those who take part in Sky's VIP programme.
In addition, Sky Arts will present two shows, Twelfth Night and Jane Eyre on its Freeview channel 11 in December. This marks the first time NT Live shows have been broadcast on television.
Emma Keith, Head of Broadcast and NT Live said: "We're delighted that Sky Arts is continuing its headline sponsorship of National Theatre Live in the UK for the next three years, a partnership based on our shared goals of bringing arts and culture to everyone across the UK.
"The theatre and cinema industry have been greatly affected over the last year due to the coronavirus pandemic and many challenges remain, however we are committed to continue sharing our work with audiences. We are thrilled that Jane Eyre and Twelfth Night will be shown on Sky Arts this December, the first time NT Live titles will be seen on the small screen, and we hope many people will watch and enjoy them later this year."
Specific release dates for Simon Godwin's production of Twelfth Night and Sally Cookson's version of the Brontë classic are to be revealed. (Alex Wood)
Mujer hoy (Spain) tries to vindicate Emily Brontë by making up the story that Wuthering Heights was initially well received but, three years later, when the second edition was published and signed by Emily Brontë the reviews were awfully bad. Perhaps the writer of the article should write a book herself, her imagination just can't grasp actual facts.
Cuando Cumbres borrascosas se publicó, la crítica la recibió con los brazos abiertos. Pero, tres años después, al ver la segunda edición, se echaron atrás y la menospreciaron sin paños calientes. ¿Por qué? Muy sencillo: su autora, Emily Brontë, decidió firmar la novela en esa segunda ocasión y los sabios del mundillo literario descubrieron, ¡oh, cielos! que habían estado alabando la obra de una mujer. (Rosa Gil) (Translation)
France Musique thinks that the life of British cellist Jacqueline du Pré
aurait pu être inventée par Stendhal ou Emily Brontë. (Bertrand Dicale) (Translation)
Trendencias (Spain) features the new capsule collection by Sandro.
En la nueva colección podemos encontrar prendas seventies inspiradas en los colores de las películas de Jacques Demy y en los tejidos de encaje que se lucían en Jane Eyre. Diseños elegantes que evocan recuerdos de la infancia en el sur de Francia. (Colino) (Translation)
Crónica Global (Spain) reviews the Spanish edition of Isabel Greenberg's Glass Town.

This is the second installment of the Rock'n'Roll Brontës series by Tracy Neis (the first one was Mr. R, published a couple of years ago):

Restless Spirits (Rock-and-Roll Brontës)
by Tracy Neis
Neis Family Publications   
ISBN-13 : 978-1734360011
October 2020

Bad luck happens in threes.Or so it would seem for British Invasion-era keyboardist Jim McCudden. First his car conks out on him in a desolate patch of Northern Ohio farmland. Then he suffers a crippling injury while seeking shelter in a seemingly abandoned cottage. But Jim’s troubles really begin when he meets the cottage’s proprietors—an ethereal hippie chick named Cathy and her bad-tempered ex-boyfriend Cliff.Meanwhile, across the pond, English piano teacher Maggie Grayson finds herself hosting more visitors than she can handle when she opens her home to three uninvited guests—Jim’s two children and the disembodied spirit of a garrulous governess named Agnes.This rock-and-roll romp through Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey brings together the plots and characters from Emily and Anne Brontë’s classic novels in a toe-tapping ghost story that will set your heart racing and your spirit soaring.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Today The Times gives us a lesson on how to be sexist:
Teachers may also make curriculum choices that appeal to girls but are less engaging for boys, such as studying Jane Eyre in GCSE English literature instead of The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. (Greg Hurst)
Welwyn Hatfield Times discusses the filming locations of the new adaptation of The Secret Garden.
“For the interior of Misselthwaite we wanted a big, empty, latent, haunted space for Mary to step into,” reveals [director Marc] Munden.
“That’s something that you see in stories like Jane Eyre and Rebecca.(Alan Davies)
A columnist from La Nación (Argentina) writes about Manderley from Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.
Desde la agria relación de Laurence Olivier con Joan Fontaine, a quien hubiese querido ver reemplazada por Vivien Leigh -Fontaine fue aislada del resto del elenco por el director para "ayudarla" a componer su primer protagónico- hasta el fundamental cambio en el desenlace del guion para no infringir el código Hays, que no permitía que un homicida como de Winter pudiera vivir el resto de sus días en el exilio junto a su segunda esposa (quien lo ayuda a encubrir el crimen) la historia de Rebeca es bastante más complicada que una reinvención de Jane Eyre invadida por el inconsciente de Thornfield Hall. Como en su contemporánea El ciudadano [Citizen Kane], la historia de sus ocupantes se descubre a través de un inquietante recorrido por sus dominios (Xanadu, en el caso de Kane). Es difícil desentrañar quién posee a quién. (Dolores Graña) (Translation)
The Observer looks 'into literature’s iconic influence on musical composition and lyrical invention'.
A musical pioneer, Kate Bush has inspired many from Julia Holter to FKA Twigs to Lady Gaga. From her eccentric music videos to unusual lyrics, Bush’s art pop persona makes her one of the most interesting performers to emerge from the 1970s. Deriving inspiration from numerous sources, Bush frequently delves into literature for ideas.
Bush based her first great hit, “Wuthering Heights,” on the Gothic Emily Brontë novel of the same name. In the song “Wuthering Heights,” Bush embodies the character of Cathy. She sings, “Heathcliff, it’s me, I’m Cathy” and explains Cathy’s position with a tragic request, “I’ve come home, I’m so cold / Let me in through your window.”
In the novel, Cathy’s tortured soul endlessly wanders the moors even in death, hopelessly searching for a way to make amends. Bush’s ability to convey this narrative through a few chorus lines exemplifies the blend of literature and music; it is the same story with a different presentation.
It is also important to acknowledge how Bush sings this song. She does not sing softly but presents high-pitched, screeching vocals. These screeching vocals evoke the same feeling that Brontë’s Gothic writing style does. Both convey the dark desperation of the subject matter.
Bush’s lyrics present a clear connection to the novel, while her musical style subtly exposes Cathy’s tortured soul. (Annika Suderburg)
Kate Bush's Wuthering Heights is also one of seven 'songs that give off major fall vibes' according to Culturess.
7. “Wuthering Heights” by Kate Bush
Fall is the perfect time to start catching up on all those unread books on your bookshelf, and if you’re a fan of classics like Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, then the song of the same name by Kate Bush will be perfect for you!
The British songstress was inspired by the novel, and the track is widely considered one of the best of all time. It’s sung from the perspective of Wuthering Heights character Catherine Earnshaw, pleading at Heathcliff’s window to be let in. It’s Gothic and filled with drama, and of course, Kate Bush is an icon. Do you really need another reason to add this one to the playlist? (Marco Saveriano)
AnneBrontë.org has posted the second part of a virtual tour of the Anne Brontë exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. Busy Mum Lifestyle has posted 'A complete guide to visiting Brontë Country'.
12:30 am by M. in    No comments

Two examples of recent Brontë-related scholar work:

In Pursuit of Dante’s Shadow: Jane Eyre and Intertextual Referencing from Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
by Giovanna Sansalvadore

In Jane Eyre di Charlotte Brontë (1847), la gran parte dell’attenzione critica si concentra intorno al personaggio di Bertha Rochester, la prima moglie del protagonista, Edward Rochester. In gran parte delineata come alter ego di Jane Eyre, il suo ruolo è fondamentale per l’esito del messaggio di emancipazione femminile promulgato dal romanzo vittoriano. In questa lettura critica del personaggio si farà un confronto delle proprietà fisiche di questo personaggio con il demonio mitologico di Cerbero, tratto dal canto VI dell’Inferno di Dante. Questo paragone suggerisce riferimenti intertestuali che possono offrire nuovi spunti per la comprensione di una lettura più sfumata del personaggio di Bertha in questo importante frangente del testo di Brontë.

Politeness Maxim of Character's Utterances in Wuthering Heights Novel by Emily Brontë
by  Amallyanna, Ramadhini (2020). Undergraduate thesis, 
Universitas Negeri Medan, Indonesia

In Pursuit of Dante’s Shadow: Jane Eyre and Intertextual Referencing from Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri This study was aimed at identifying the types and the dominant type of the Politeness Maxim of Character’s Utterances in Wuthering Heights Novel by Emily Brontë and the reason why it used in the novel. This study was conducted by applying descriptive qualitative method. The source of data was
 taken from a novel written by Emily Brontë entitled Wuthering Heights. The results showed that there are 6 types of politeness maxim namely tact maxim,generosity maxim, approbation maxim, modesty maxim, agreement maxim and sympathy maxim totalling 64 utterances with the dominant type is agreement maxim totalling 22 utterances (34,37%). There was only 1 type of politeness maxim that not used in the novel which is modesty maxim. The  reason why politeness maxim used by the main character was that to politelyexpress his message and intimate the relation to other characters.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

Le Soir Magazine (Belgium) carries an article about Charlotte Bronté's time in Brussels:
Charlotte Brontë, éprise de son professeur bruxellois
L’auteure de « Jane Eyre » a vécu près de deux ans dans notre capitale. Et plusieurs de ses livres ont été inspirés par les expériences qu’elle y fit.
C’est le 15 février 1842, à l’âge de 26 ans, que Charlotte Brontë, flanquée de sa sœur Emily, arrive à Bruxelles. Filles de pasteur, ayant perdu leur mère alors qu’elles étaient enfants, on les destine à l’enseignement. Pour parfaire leur éducation et leurs connaissances linguistiques, leur père a l’idée de les envoyer dans la capitale belge où l’un de ses amis, chapelain à l’ambassade de Grande-Bretagne, lui a dégoté un pensionnat pour jeunes filles respectable. Celui-ci est tenu par le couple Héger-Parent. Il est situé rue Isabelle, à l’emplacement de l’actuel Palais des Beaux-Arts. (Yves Vander Cruisen) (Translation) (Translation)

Bishop's Stortford recommends books for children with dyslexia:

Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, a retelling by Tanya Landman
Orphaned as a child, tormented by her guardian and cast out to a harsh boarding school, Jane Eyre has been raised in the shadow of cruelty and isolation.
But when she takes a job as governess in Thornfield Hall, where secrets lurk in the attic and strange laughter echoes through the night, Jane meets the elusive Mr Rochester and her life is irrevocably transformed.
Poignantly and powerfully retold in this stunning edition, Jane Eyre is the tale of a spirited heroine's search for love, independence and belonging.
Newsweek lists '100 monumental novels'
Jane Eyre
Literary critic Daniel S. Burt has called Charlotte Brontë "the first historian of the private consciousness" thanks to her novel "Jane Eyre," the first to focus on a lead character's moral and spiritual development. Well ahead of its time, this romantic novel follows the titular Jane Eyre through a rough childhood, as a student and teacher at a school, and then—in what readers remember best about the novel—as she accepts a job as governess and slowly begins to fall for her mysterious employer, Mr. Rochester.
Wuthering Heights
Charlotte Bronte's younger sister Emily wrote "Wuthering Heights," a classic example of a gothic novel. The book, about the ill-fated love between Heathcliff and Catherine, contains elements of the supernatural, a host of scandals, and more than one love triangle. (Madison Troyer)

Report Door interviews singer and composer Stevie Nicks:

Erin Clark; I’m curious though, that when you went with that original sketch to Margi and you had this very clear vision, where did that come from?
S.N.: It was very specific, huh? I think that it did come from somewhere between Oliver Twist and Great Expectations and those kinds of stories that I read and love, even like Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre, those kinds of kind of fairytale books. Those heroines were definitely specific in what they wore.  

The Observer interviews actor Johnny Flynn:

Frank is the latest in a line of what Flynn calls “my broken-neck roles”, in which you know someone is going to come to a bad end without being quite sure who. In Michael Pearce’s 2017 debut feature, Beast, he was the Heathcliff-like poacher, Pascal, who lights a wildfire under a combustible Jessie Buckley. (Claire Armitstead)

Jutarnji (Croatia) talks about some local performances of the play Sylvia by Fabrice Murgia:

 U epilogu predstave Plath se povezuje s Virginijom Woolf, Anne Sexton, Emily Brontë, a i postavlja se pitanje koliko su njezini nasljednici - Hughes i njihova kći, oblikovali našu percepciju žene koja je postala znak za sve nas mrakom rastrgane i neuračunljive, ne samo umjetnice. (Pavica Knezović Belan) (Translation)

This article on Donna Moderna (Italy) feels pretty old to us:

Apparentemente pericolosa è la Bestia nella fiaba europea del ’700, e non è un caso forse che la protagonista della saga si chiami Bella. Oscuro e crudele è Heathcliff in Cime tempestose, che Bella legge in Eclipse, il terzo volume della serie. Tenebroso è il Mr Rochester di Jane Eyre, anche questa è una delle letture più amate da Bella. (Alessia Gazzola) (Translation)

Project Nerd (Italy) reviews The Haunting of Bly Manor:

Negli episodi dedicati ad ognuno di loro scopriamo il loro passato e cosa li ha portati a compiere alcuni gesti estremi. Tra loro c’è un amore malato come quello di Cathy e Heatcliff in “Cime Tempestose” che sfocerà nella tragedia. (Stefania Fabbiano) (Translation)

An insomnia quote from Charlotte Brontë on Parade; a scavenger hunt at the Baldwin Wallace University with gothic literature in mind (including Wuthering Heights) on The Exponent.

12:30 am by M. in , ,    No comments
A new scholar paper just published:
Shadows and sparks in Wuthering Heights. A damned lover of the Victorian era reminiscent of ancient tragedy
Maria Panagiotopoulou
Orbis Litterarum, Volume75, Issue5 October 2020, Pages 247-259

The aim of this study is to present Heathcliff, the damned lover and romantic villain of Wuthering Heights, through the light of ancient tragedy. The hero that Emily Brontë created is reminiscent of the spirit, feelings, and actions of heroes of Greek mythology such as Deianeira, Oedipus, Electra, Orestes, Medea, and Hippolytus, who were perfectly presented in Sophoclean and Euripidean dramas. Condemned love, unfulfilled, repelled, and undefined passion, the repressed emotions of a child without identity, along with the social conviction and marginalization that accompany lowly and unspecified origins, become motivations for his narcissism and his desire for vengeance. Wuthering Heights is a story about love and death, storm and night, and last but not least, about souls that cannot find peace because of their denial of each other. This is why one can either hate the repulsive personality of Heathcliff, or fall in love with his mystery and darkness, but no one can be indifferent to him. He is a tragic hero, a man that gave flesh and blood to odi et amo. While reading this article, I think that you will feel that Emily Brontë created her fictional villain–lover having captured in her mind echoes of the ancient figures mentioned above, figures who are haunted by deeply human feelings such as love, revenge, hatred, and suffering that determine their actions, identifying them with angels who eventually turn into demons.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Saturday, October 17, 2020 9:29 am by Cristina in , , , ,    No comments
Today we have more reviews of Netflix's new adaptation of RebeccaThe Spool has a theory:
Because Rebecca is such an overtly gothic work of fiction, it makes sense that her unrepentant sexuality would make her a monster, much like Jane Eyre’s Bertha Mason. Both women are written as malignant, manipulative beauties in contrast with Mrs. de Winter and Jane Eyre’s wide-eyed innocence. In Jane Eyre, Rochester frequently describes the heroine as “clean” and “pure,” free from all that worldliness and sexuality that make these women worthy of imprisonment and murder. (Beau North)
The Canberra Times mentions it, too:
It might be fairer to say some remakes, especially of pre-existing properties, are new adaptations of the original material unless there are obvious connections or allusions. And some movies are, ahem, "inspired" by others and always have been (Rebecca itself is reminiscent in some ways of Jane Eyre). (Ron Cerabona)
I-D comments on the new trailer for another forthcoming film, Ammonite, an imaginative take on the life of palaeontologist Mary Anning, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan.
A brand new trailer for Francis Lee’s Ammonite has just arrived, and if we’re going by this short clip, the movie is already set to rise that heady ascent into the realm of highly revered and delicious queer period drama. Period dramas, you see, always tend to be dead boring, unless the Ls, Gs, Bs and Ts get involved. Wuthering Heights? CBA [Can't Be Arsed]. Carol? Iconic. The King’s Speech? Boring. Maurice? J’adore! Next up: Ammonite. (Douglas Greenwood)
The Spool also recommends Crimson Peak.
There’s also little doubt as to who the real villain is, and why many reviewers cited Rebecca and Jane Eyre (one version of which also starred Wasikowska) as clear influences. Both feature young, strong, yet naive heroines who must contend with older, worldly, deeply sexual women as obstacles to the happiness awaiting them, and Edith is certainly in that heroic mold. With her bright blonde hair, yellow dresses, the way her hands tremble as she wanders fearfully alone through her creepily oppressive home holding aloft a lit candelabra, she is the innocent virgin, the victim we always sympathize with. How could we help ourselves? (Andrea Thompson)
MissionsBox discusses how hazardous life still is for little girls in many countries and, weirdly enough, refers to Jane Eyre as written by Currer Bell (only in a parenthesis are we told that its author's real name was Charlotte Brontë).
Nearly 173 years ago, on October 16, 1847, a book authored by “Currer Bell” rolled off the presses and quickly provoked a combination of praise, revulsion and gossip.
“It is a very remarkable book,” wrote a reviewer named Elizabeth Rigby. “We have no other remembrance of one combining such genuine power with such horrid taste.”
Many literary critics today still consider Bell’s novel, Jane Eyre, remarkable, but perhaps not for the same reasons Rigby did. For one thing, Jane Eyre opens with a girl at the center of its action. And this girl is a dynamic and well-rounded protagonist with a depth, voice and independent spirit that were groundbreaking for the time.
As grown-up Jane narrates her story, readers journey with young Jane through girlhood. They feel what she feels as she experiences the sting of abuse, the devastation of loss, the joy of friendship and the empowerment of education. They watch how these experiences shape Jane into a young woman who faces messy adult situations with resolve and integrity.
Jane Eyre stands as one of the earliest and most prominent examples of a coming-of-age story with a female protagonist, and it is still considered by some to be one of the greatest novels ever written. Much of the strength of this story derives from the strength of its female title character, a character created by an author who had experienced girlhood herself. (“Currer Bell” was in fact a woman named Charlotte Brontё.) This novel preceded countless other popular woman-authored novels and series describing a girl’s journey to womanhood: Little Women; Anne of Green Gables; Little House on the Prairie; To Kill a Mockingbird and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, to name a few. These stories have captivated audiences spanning generations and nationalities.
According to Vox, Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia is 'the perfect genre for thinking about empires'.
Jane Eyre’s Bertha is European, but there’s a possibility of racial ambiguity lingering around her. She is English, but not quite; she is Other, but not quite. She is confusing and frightening and probably violent, and the only thing we can do with her is violently repress her, shove her into the attic and hope she doesn’t cause too much trouble. But of course she gets out anyway, and of course all sorts of trouble ensues.
The colonial gothic is all about these fears and anxieties: We have committed violence, and now we fear violence in return; groups are mingling, and that is threatening, but isolation will lead only to decay; what can we do, how can we maintain control?
But going into the 20th and 21st centuries, we started to see new gothic novels that were written from the point of view not of the colonizer, but of the colonized: the postcolonial gothic. Wide Sargasso Sea responding to Jane Eyre.
That’s the tradition that Mexican Gothic is working with. And it’s doing incredibly interesting stuff with it. (Constance Grady)
Here's how Carmilla (Italy) describes writer Lisa Tuttle:
Texana trapiantata da decenni in Scozia, Lisa Tuttle si può considerare una delle principali eredi dirette contemporanee della grande tradizione femminile anglosassone della weird fiction, quella lunga e gloriosa traiettoria che dai Gothic novel di Anne Radcliffe, attraverso il Frankenstein di Mary Shelley, il romanticismo oscuro delle sorelle Bronte, le inquietudini vittoriane di Charlotte Riddell o Edith Nesbit, e quelle primo novecentesche di Edith Warthon, Elizabeth Bowen o Vernon Lee, giunge tortuosa e troppo spesso ingiustamente sottovalutata, fino al magistero di Shirley Jackson e Flannery O’Connor. (Walter Catalano) (Translation)
Elle (France) comments on the capsule collection created by Sandro in collaboration with Clara Luciani.
Cette capsule éphémère représente absolument tout ce que la chanteuse Clara Luciani apprécie : « C’est une collection qui nous ressemble à toutes les deux, faite pour des femmes qui aiment courir partout en restant élégantes. Des vêtements qui viennent ranimer des souvenirs de mon enfance : la chaleur du Sud de la France, les couleurs des films de Demy, la dentelle que j’imaginais Jane Eyre porter. » (Noémie Sadoun) (Translation)
SWR2 (Germany) shares the fifth instalment of the podcast about the Brontë sisters accompanied by music based on their works. 
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments

 A recent scholar book with Brontë-related content:

Gendered Ecologies
New Materialist Interpretations of Women Writers in the Long Nineteenth Century

Edited by Dewey W. Hall and Jillmarie Murphy
Clemson University Press
ISBN: 9781949979046
March 2020

Gendered Ecologies: New Materialist Interpretations of Women Writers in the Long Nineteenth Century considers the value of interrelationships that
exist among human, nonhuman species, and inanimate objects as part of the environment in the work of a diversity of nineteenth-century female writers. The collection engages with current paradigms of thought influencing the field of ecocriticism and, more specifically, ecofeminism. Various theories are featured, informing interpretation of literary and non literary material, which include Anthropocene feminism, feminist geography, neo-materialism, object-oriented ontology, panarchy, and trans-corporeality. In particular, neo-materialism becomes a means by which to examine literary and non-literary content by women writers with attention to the materiality of objects as the aim of inquiry.

The book includes the chapter: A Space of  "unwanted liberty and pleasure": Charlotte Brontë's Treatment of Gardens in the Bildungsromansof Jane Eyre and Lucy Snowe.

Friday, October 16, 2020

First of all, today is quite a special day as it marks the anniversary of the publication of Jane Eyre 173 years ago. 

And now for some good news as Keighley News has an article on the welcome funding boosts received recently by the Brontë Society.
The Bronte Society says the £119,200 – received as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund – will support the museum through its traditionally-quieter autumn and winter months and help finance increased digital activity. [...]
“The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with some of the most challenging circumstances we have ever found ourselves in,” says Trish Gurney, chairman of the Brontë Society’s board of trustees.
“There is still some uncertainty ahead, but the award from the Culture Recovery Fund means we can face the future with more confidence and ensure that we can continue to fulfil our mission to bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire.
“We are very grateful to Arts Council England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their award and for the public recognition of our contribution to culture in the UK.”
The Brontë Society has also been raising funds through a Just Giving campaign, which has been boosted with a £25,000 donation from the Charlotte Aitken Trust.
Sebastian Faulkes, chairman of the trust, said: “The trust was set-up with money left in the will of the literary agent Gillon Aitken (1938-2016) in memory of his only child, Charlotte.
“We are delighted to support the Brontë Parsonage Museum appeal. It is the first grant the charity has made and it could not be in a better cause. Haworth is an important part of our literary heritage and it is sobering to think that the Brontë sisters were writing their great novels at roughly the same age that Charlotte Aitken had reached when she died.
“Whatever the temporary restrictions on visitors, we hope the Brontë Society and the Brontë Parsonage Museum will continue to flourish.”
The donation is welcomed by Rebecca Yorke, head of communications at the Bronte Society.
She said: “The generous donation by the Charlotte Aitken Trust is a very welcome boost to our fundraising campaign – and has helped us reach our initial target of £100,000.
“We are very grateful to Sebastian Faulkes and the other trustees. Their support will help us survive this period of crisis and ensure that we can continue to promote the Brontë legacy and support writers and artists working today.” (Alistair Shand)
We certainly invite our readers to scroll down the list of supporters on the Just Giving page as the messages and goodwill of the generous donors are deeply moving and representative of the many lives touched by the Brontë family (there's even a descendant of Sarah Garrs in there). You can still donate while you're at it.

Still locally, The Telegraph and Argus features some of this year's Bradford Halloween celebrations.
Jamie Wardley, from Sand In Your Eye, said: “The pumpkin displays celebrate the quirky cultural history of Bradford. There will be a wild boar rampaging through the city, Bollywood dancers and the Brontë sisters. Let the pumpkins do the talking and put a smile on your face while giving each other plenty of space!” (Daryl Ames)
Yorkshire Life recommends '10 Yorkshire walks near the Pennine Way', including
Into the moors of West Yorkshire, we head west to Pennine Way, but take in some of the famous Brontë landmarks such as the Top Withens farmhouse and the waterfalls.
Wall Street Journal reviews Catherine Eaton’s debut film The Sounding.
Catherine Eaton’s “The Sounding,” available on digital platforms starting Oct. 20th, begins with a mystery that gradually deepens rather than resolves, and takes place mainly on a windswept island that could serve as the setting of a Brontë novel, even though it’s somewhere off the American coast at the present time. (Joe Morgenstern)
Daily Mail reviews the Netflix production of  Daphne Du Maurier's Rebecca.
It succeeds, as all good Rebecca adaptations should, in reminding us of the great British literary lineage to which the story belongs. The kinship with Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is unmistakable. (Brian Viner)
The Guardian reviews the latest adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu’s Carmilla.
This revisionist adaptation of Sheridan Le Fanu’s 1871 vampire novella joins Andrea Arnold’s Wuthering Heights and Lady Macbeth in the newish tradition of bonnet-free literary adaptations: modern-feeling period films abandoning coy glances for earthy passions and marriage fantasy fulfilment for a harsher portrait of domestic life for women in the past. (Cath Clarke)
More spooky films as according to CBR, 'Crimson Peak Is the Perfect Gothic Romance For Halloween'.
It's very straightforward, letting the viewer use Edith, who's a Jane Eyre-esque fish-out-of-water, as a surrogate to investigate the mysteries. (Brynna Cole)
JoBlo recommends it too:
With echoes of classic stories like Daphne DuMariers Rebecca, Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, and even Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, Guillermo Del Toro echoes some of the greatest ghost stories of all time and modernizes it for the 21st century. (Alex Maidy)
Scroll (India) tells to the story of how 'Book Fairies spread joy on the Delhi Metro'.
When I started Books on the Delhi Metro in May 2017, I envisioned Delhi as a city of bibliophiles. The idea came to me like a calling. Growing up, I did not have too many books, which were a luxury in our household. My mother, a schoolteacher, would bring home books from the school library. [...]
By 2017, I had planned to give away a few books I had accumulated as gifts. Apart from a few precious Harry Potters and my mother’s copy of Wuthering Heights, I knew I would not read them again. (Shruti Sharma)
SWR2 (Germany) shares the fourth instalment of the podcast about the Brontë sisters accompanied by music based on their works. Tea Leaves and Tweed posts about Jane Eyre.

Finally, Brontë Babe Blog reviews Restless Spirits by Tracy Neis (Rock and Roll Brontës Book 2).
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Acting for a Cause is a live read series of classic plays and screenplays created, produced, directed and hosted by Brando Crawford:
Acting for a Cause started March 2020, just as the pandemic was announced and is both a campaign to raise money, awareness, and to provide free entertainment to our viewers.
We have partnered Entertainment Industry Foundation to support causes we have researched thoroughly and need our help- through their emergency fund the EIF issues a grant with the total amount pledged from each reading to the corresponding non-profit.

The May 15th live reading was no other than a Jane Eyre production, adapted by Christine Calvit with a quite impressive cast:

Natalia Dyer (Stranger Things) is Jane Eyre
Alexander Hodge (Insecure) is Mr. Rochester
Sophia Lillis ( I Am Not Okay with This / Sharp Objects) is Helen
Richard Ellis   ( I Am Not Okay with This) is St. John
Elle Lorraine (Insecure) is Mrs. Fairfax
Sydney Lemmon (Succession / Fear the Walking Dead) is Bertha
Rudy Pankow (Outer Banks) is Brocklehurst
Jessica Frances Dukes (Ozark / Jessica Jones) is Mrs. Reed

Director, Exec Producer and Master of Ceremonies: Brando Crawford 

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Thursday, October 15, 2020 7:25 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
We are beginning to see some lukewarm (to put it mildly) reviews of the forthcoming adaptation of Rebecca available for streaming on Netflix from October 21st. From Los Angeles Times:
Talk about beloved predecessors! The Hitchcock film, peerlessly acted by Joan Fontaine, Laurence Olivier and Judith Anderson, is widely considered definitive, but it has never struck me as sacrosanct. Not unlike “Jane Eyre,” its partner in oft-adapted Gothic romance, “Rebecca” is durable enough to withstand and even reward multiple interpretations. Who wouldn’t dream of going to Manderley again? (Justin Chang)
Nobody and nothing seems remotely real; the digital trickery complementing the English and French location work ventures perilously near live-action-Disney-remake territory. The ingrained class resentments are handled so broadly, the actors don’t have a chance. Except Scott Thomas.
“Do you think the dead come back and watch the living?” Danvers murmurs with fire (foreshadowing!) in her eyes, goading the second Mrs. de Winter. The line belongs to du Maurier; the bones of the story remain hers as well. Watching Wheatley’s version of “Rebecca,” it’s hard to care about where that question might be leading. The author’s obvious Brontë inspirations, “Jane Eyre” (Charlotte) and “Wuthering Heights” (Emily), remain for some of us more a matter of admiration than ardor. The Hitchcock version of “Rebecca,” same thing. (Michael Phillips)
SyFyWire looks at Gothic mansions:
Ghosts are just as versatile as humans when it comes to the homes they take up residence in. Real estate can be just as daunting for the dead as it is for the living, so haunted houses come in all shapes and sizes. There isn't a certain historical grade or building age cutoff for malevolent spirits. Suburbs are desirable, but secrets that linger in older buildings are formidable. A mainstay of the genre is the Gothic mansion, which provided the location for scares long before cinema in novels by Emily Brontë and Edgar Allan Poe short stories. A once-impressive building is now in a state of disarray, and the creaking and dilapidated condition only adds to the frightening visage. While the estate is likely lacking funds, the rich history provides a wealth of spooky material in drumming up scares for the residents, visiting guests, and the audience. (Emma Fraser)
Similarly, Nerdist reviews The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Gothic romance has enchanted us with yarns about naive women and the dangerous, wealthy men who lure them in since the 1800s. Mike Flanagan’s The Haunting of Bly Manor takes the structure and atmosphere that stories like Wuthering Heights, Rebecca, and Jane Eyre established and makes subtle shifts. These shifts subvert the genre. They broaden the idea of who deserves love, what it means to be loved, and who gets to be at the center of a love story. (Rosie Knight)
More enlightening as to what Dark Academia is from The Tab:
Dark academia’s seminal text is Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, it’s where loads of TikTok users get inspiration from. Other dark academia books include Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen, If We Were Villains by M.L.Rio and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. (Lydia Venn)
The Times reviews Red Comet by Heather Clark, a new biography of Sylvia Plath, describing Ted Hughes as
Her Heathcliff, her brooding, handsome, “hunky” poet of the Yorkshire moors (“Ted Huge” was one nickname). (Laura Freeman)
SWR2 (Germany) shares the third instalment of the podcast about the Brontë sisters accompanied by music based on their works. 
An alert for today, October 15, at the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
The Brontë Lounge with Simon Armitage
The Rise and Fall of Branwell Brontë
Thursday 15 October 2020, 19:30 h

We are thrilled to welcome Simon Armitage to the Brontë Lounge.
Simon was the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s Creative Partner in 2017, the bicentenary year of Branwell Brontë.  During his residency, Simon curated an exhibition, Mansions in the Sky, and wrote ten poems in response to Branwell’s belongings in the Museum collection.
In this live event, Simon will read from the Mansions in the Sky series of poems and talk to host Helen Meller about how his understanding of the notorious Brontë brother developed and changed as he took a closer look at his life and influences.  

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Wednesday, October 14, 2020 10:34 am by Cristina in , , , , ,    No comments
The New York Times reviews the book A Good Time to Be Born: How Science and Public Health Gave Children a Future by Perri Klass.
The book is divided into three sections: “The Desolation of That Empty Cradle,” “The Birth of a Great and New Idea” and “What Marvelous Days” (from a 1902 speech by Mary Putnam Jacobi, a champion of women’s health, describing the birth of her first child). Chapters are punctuated with nursery rhymes, paintings, newspaper clippings, letters and photographs — all shining a light on advances in clinical medicine and science alongside the meaning of childhood. Klass also examines “Peter Pan,” “Jane Eyre,” “Little Women” and “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” through this lens. (Christie Watson)
Star Tribune discusses the impact of opera in younger generations with the help of Minnesota Opera's new V.P. of impact, Lee Bynum. 
“Generation Xers, millennials, and Generation Z, they haven’t been conditioned to appreciate classical music in quite the same way as in the past,” Bynum said. “They are hungry to have the relevance of music explained to them, what impact it is making on our society. We need to have some answers.”
“Opera in the Outfield,” Minnesota Opera’s recent baseball-themed event at CHS Field in St. Paul, and the online stream of Bernard Herrmann’s opera “Wuthering Heights” (available Oct. 10-24 at mnopera.org), are steps in the right direction. (Terry Blain)
An article from Donna Moderna (in Italian) mentions Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights in connection to the Twilight saga.
La figura dell’eroe pericoloso, per una nascosta ragione indegno o inadatto all’eroina di turno, è un aggancio che nella storia della letteratura e del cinema ha sempre funzionato. Apparentemente pericolosa è la Bestia nella fiaba europea del ’700, e non è un caso forse che la protagonista della saga si chiami Bella. Oscuro e crudele è Heathcliff in Cime tempestose, che Bella legge in Eclipse, il terzo volume della serie. Tenebroso è il Mr Rochester di Jane Eyre, anche questa è una delle letture più amate da Bella. (Alessia Gazzola) (Translation)
SWR2 (Germany) has a podcast about the Brontë sisters accompanied by music based on their works. Brontë Babe Blog posts about lockdown in the company of Charlotte Brontë.
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The seventh International Literary Juvenilia Conference had to be held in May 2020... The coronaseason took over and never happened. Now, it has been rescheduled for next year:

The Seventh International Literary Juvenilia Conference will be held at UNSW Sydney from Wednesday 19 May to Saturday 22 May 2021.

Following the success of the 2018 conference on ‘Minority Voices’ at St. John’s College, University of Durham, the International Society of Literary Juvenilia (ISLJ) and Juvenilia Press, welcome you to UNSW Sydney for a conference to discuss:

Literary Juvenilia, material imagination and ‘things’

A young writer’s learning and creative experience is built around things. Drawing on Gaston Bachelard’s evocative phrase ‘material imagination’, this conference will explore the material culture of juvenilia (youthful writing up to the age of twenty): the relationship between ‘things’ and literary imagination and practice.

The conference includes a day dedicated to papers on Brontë (and Austen) juvenilia on Friday 21 May 2021, including a keynote by Beverly Taylor, Professor and Head, Department of English and Comparative Literature, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. She specialises in Victorian literature and culture, especially poetry and women novelists including Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the Brontës. Professor Taylor will speak on “Becoming Acton Bell”, in celebration of the 2020 Bicentenary of Anne Brontë.

Call for Papers opens September 2020 and Early-bird registration opens November 2020 – click below.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The Telegraph and Argus reports the reaction of the Brontë Society after receiving support from Arts Council England.
Yesterday Arts Council England announced a package of support from arts groups across the country, and around £2 million will go to Bradford groups. [...]
The Brontë Society (which runs the Bronte Parsonage Museum in Haworth) - £119,200 [...]
The pandemic led to the Brontë Parsonage Museum in Haworth shutting for the longest period in its 92 year history.
Trish Gurney, Chair of the Brontë Society Board of Trustees, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has presented us with some of the most challenging circumstances we have ever found ourselves in. 
"There is still some uncertainty ahead but the award from the Culture Recovery Fund means we can face the future with more confidence and ensure that we can continue to fulfil our mission to bring the Brontës to the world and the world to Yorkshire.
"We are very grateful to Arts Council England and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their award and for the public recognition of our contribution to culture in the UK.” (Chris Young)
We are very glad to hear that.

Still locally, The Telegraph and Argus also informs about three wedding venues made to shut down over 'Covid breaches', including one with a Brontë connection.
The necessary Covid-19 safety measures were also not being followed at each venue, with a lack of social distancing, especially at arrival and departure.
The Gomersal Lodge Hotel, on Spen Lane, is a Grade II listed building, with a permanent marquee in its grounds used for functions such as weddings. The building, formerly known as High Royd, was built for Mary Taylor, a long-time friend of Charlotte Brontë. Mary's family lived at nearby Red House, which later became the museum. (Jo Winrow)
Galway Advertiser recommends 'Films to watch on cold October nights' such as
Jane Eyre: Next week Netflix is releasing probably my personal most anticipated film of the year in Ben Wheatley's Rebecca, a remake of the Hitchcock film and based on the Daphne De Maurier novel. Rebecca is De Maurier’s spin on the Brontë classic so it might work revisiting this really quite good 2011 adaptation. Directed by Cary Fukunaga, who went on to do the first brilliant season of True Detective, it is a fun, muddy, and wet film that is not quite as romantic as it could/should be but it is beautifully made with some great performances. (Ben O'Gorman)
Diario 16 (Spain) interviews writer José Ángel Mañas who mentions Emily Brontë as a writer who wrote about what she knew. Henley Standard quotes Emily Brontë's poems 'Fall, leaves, fall'. A couple of blogs discuss two related aspects of Jane Eyre: Bookstr writes 'in defence of Antoinette Cosway Mason, the original Mrs Rochester' and marietoday wonders whether Jane really should have married Mr Rochester.

Finally, the Brussels Brontë Blog reports on a recent Zoom talk by Karen Hewitt on 'the English gentleman' in Villette.
12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments

 A new scholar book with Brontë-related content:

Women’s Human Rights in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture
Edited By Elena V. Shabliy; Dmitry Kurochkin And Gloria Y. A. Ayee
Lexington Books
ISBN: 978-1-7936-3141-1
October 2020

Women’s Human Rights in Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture sheds light on women's rights advancements in the nineteenth century and early twentieth-century through explorations of literature and culture from this time period. With an international emphasis, contributors illuminate the range and diversity of women’s work as novelists, journalists, and short story writers and analyze the New Woman phenomenon, feminist impulse, and the diversity of the women writers. Studying writing by authors such as Alice Meynell, Thomas Hardy, Netta Syrett, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Mary Seacole, Charlotte Brontë, and Jean Rhys, the contributors analyze women’s voices and works on the subject of women’s rights and the representation of the New Woman.
The last chapter of the book is
Women Within Precincts: Colonialism and Racialization in The Madwoman in the Attic, Wide Sargasso Sea and Jane Eyre. Liberating Herself: Emancipationist Writing at the Fin de Siècle by Dr. Shilpa Daithota Bhat.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Yorkshire Live shares 'The very best Yorkshire walks' as voted for by its readers, including
Brontë Waterfall
Famous, of course, for its association with the Brontë sisters, the Brontë Waterfall is set among breathtaking countryside. Set in a valley surrounded by moorland and farmland, the area offers some truly beautiful walking and makes for a wonderful spot for photography. (Phoebe Fuller)
What Culture reviews the TV series The Haunting of Bly Manor.
Either way, Flanagan has much to be proud of here, as a version of James' classic ghost story. James presented the notion that perhaps the hauntings were merely the imaginings of the governess, who refers directly to Jane Eyre and the character of Bertha, a madwoman confined in Thornfield, the primary location of the story and not entirely unlike Bly Manor itself. While Flanagan's adaptation is primarily a more literal approach to the hauntings, much is made of the mind's ability to conjure apparitions and therefore very much in keeping with the original text, despite never being totally sure which one it's referring to. (Matthew Weller)
ScreenRant looks at the filming locations for The Princess Bride and one of them was Haddon Hall.
Prince Humperdinck's Castle: Haddon Hall - Derbyshire, England
The interior and exterior of this Tudor period country house were used in filming scenes that take place at Prince Humperdinck’s Castle. When Westley is supposedly killed, leaving Buttercup alone, Buttercup is forced into an engagement with Prince Humperdinck. The engagement is announced and the former commoner is introduced as Princess Buttercup at Prince Humperdinck’s castle in Florin City. The exterior of the castle appears again when Buttercup has a nightmare of an old woman berating her for marrying Humperdinck. Haddon Hall has also appeared in film adaptations of Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre. (Caroline Fox)
AnneBrontë.org has posted the first part of a virtual tour of the Anne Brontë exhibition at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. On the Brussels Brontë Blog, Helen MacEwan discusses the pros and cons of organising Zoom vs room talks.
1:57 am by M.   No comments
This scholar book contains a Brontë-related chapter:
Postcolonial Screen Adaptation and the British Novel
Vivian Y. Kao
Springer Verlag, 2020

This book brings film adaptation of literature to bear on the question of how nineteenth-century imperial ideologies of progress continue to inform power inequalities in a global capitalist age. Not simply the promotion of general betterment for all, improvement in the British colonial context licensed a superior “master race” to “uplift” its colonized populations—morally, socially, and economically. This book argues that, on the one hand, film adaptations of nineteenth-century novels reveal the arrogance and coercive intentions that underpin contemporary notions of development, humanitarianism, and modernity—improvement’s post-Victorian guises. On the other hand, the book also argues that the films use their nineteenth-century source texts to criticize these same legacies of imperialism. By bringing together film adaptation, postcolonial theory, and literary studies, the book demonstrates that adaptation, as both method and cultural product, provides a way to engage with the baggage of ideological heritage in our contemporary global media environment.
The title of the chapter is: Moral Management: Spaces of Domestication in Jane Eyre and I Walked with a Zombie.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

Sunday, October 11, 2020 11:38 am by M. in , , ,    No comments

If you are a long-time reader of this blog we are sure you can recollect we have reported quite weird Brontë references from all kinds of media. But this one certainly takes the weirdo label to a whole new level. Enter the world of retrograde ejaculation with the help of no other than Charlotte Brontë in The Star (Malaysia):

The English novelist and poet, Charlotte Brontë famously advised: "I try to avoid looking forward or backward, and try to keep looking upward."
When no treatment is effective to propel the semen forward, he agrees with Brontë and says: "No point looking forward or backwards when nothing can be done, simply keep healthy and enjoy looking upwards!" (Dr George Lee)

Not the only weird connection of health issues with the Brontës today. The Guardian interviews the author John Lanchester:

My wife and I both had coronavirus and we were lucky to get it early. I have asthma and so I was quite worried about it. My wife got it from her book group. The moral of the story is: beware of book groups. They were discussing a Brontë novel, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I don’t know if that’s relevant. It feels relevant. (Interview by Alex Preston)
The Nerd Daily interviews the writer Alix E. Harrow:
Kibby Robinson: If you could recommend one book from 2020 to our readers, what would it be?
This question is too stressful and I rebuke it. But, out of respect, I will restrain myself to three: Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, for the Crimson-Peak-Wuthering-Heights-type girls[.]
Far Out Magazine quotes Orson Welles describing his own version of Macbeth (1948):
Welles himself described the story as “a perfect cross between Wuthering Heights and Bride of Frankenstein.” (Swapnil Dhruv Bose)

The Brussels Brontë Blog posts about the most recent virtual talk organized by the Brussels Brontë Group: Charlotte Brontë’s Quarrel With The English Gentleman in Villette by Karen Hewitt. 

12:30 am by M. in ,    No comments

A new scholar paper with Brontë-related content:

Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics
Vol. 43, No. 2 (Autumn 2020) – Special Issue on the Sublime

Tweaking the Sublime: Translating the Poetics of the Sublime in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre
Ida Klitgård 

This study aims at scrutinising how the notion of the poetics of the sublime in prose might travel in the event of translation. It is a little studied topic, presumably due to the elusiveness of the sublime. Here I nevertheless try to capture this concept by analysing Longinus’ treatise On the Sublime with a focus on elevated writing. I apply these traits to the three most recent Danish translations of Charlotte Brontë’s novel Jane Eyre as it is an exemplary novel of sublime passion in both content and style.